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Macbeth Import


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Audio CD, Import, January 13, 2004
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$103.64

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

This is a major release--a recording of Verdi's original version of Macbeth, composed in 1847, instead of the one we know, i.e., the 1865 revision. About a third of the score is different from the usually performed version, with Lady Macbeth singing a far more showy coloratura aria where "La luce langue" was later placed, a vastly different take on Macbeth's third-act delirium with the witches, a more conventional chorus than in 1865 to open the last act, and a final scene which is a more vivid confrontation between Macbeth and Macduff. There are also minor changes along the way which fans of the opera will enjoy comparing with Verdi's later thoughts. The recording comes from a 1979 BBC broadcast and is a splendid performance. Peter Glossop, never the owner of the juiciest Verdi baritone voice, is nevertheless a truly vivid, insightful Macbeth; soprano Rita Hunter, better known as a Wagnerian, offers a well-sung, stunning Lady Macbeth; John Tomlinson, before he became a superb Wagner bass, gives us a Banquo to remember, and the rest of the cast is fine. John Matheson leads a tight, dramatic reading, and the BBC forces play handsomely. Even if you own a recording of this opera, this one belongs in your collection. --Robert Levine

Disc: 1
1. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Preludio
2. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Introduzione. Coro, Scena e Duetto. Coro. Che faceste? Dite su!
3. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Introduzione. Coro, Scena e Duetto. Duetto. Due vaticini compiuti or sono
4. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Introduzione. Stretta dell'Introduzione. Coro. S'allontanarono! N'accozzeremo
5. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Scena e Cavatina. Scena. Nel dì della vittoria io le incotrai...
6. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Scena e Cavatina. Cavatina. Vieni, t'affretta! Accendere
7. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Scena e Cavatina. Cabaletta. Or tutti sorgete, - ministri infernali
8. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Scena e marcia. Scena. Oh, donna mia!
9. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Gran Scena e duetto. Scena. Sappia la sposa mia
10. Macbeth, opera: Act 1. Gran Scena e duetto. Allegro. Fatal mia donna
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Incantesimo. Tre volte miagola la gatta in collera
2. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Gran scena delle apparizione. Che fate voi misteriose donne?
3. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Aria. Qual concento!... Fuggi, o regal fantasina
4. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Aria. Oh mio terror!
5. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Coro e Ballabile. Ondine e silfide
6. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Finale Terzo. Gran Scena. Recitativo. Ove son'io? Fuggiro!...
7. Macbeth, opera: Act 3. Finale Terzo. Gran Scena. Aria. Vada in fiamme, e in polve cada
8. Macbeth, opera: Act 4. Coro, scena ed aria. Coro. Patria oppressa! Il dolce nome
9. Macbeth, opera: Act 4. Coro, scena ed aria. Scena. O figli, o figli miei
10. Macbeth, opera: Act 4. Coro, scena ed aria. Aria. Ah, la paterna mano
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Opera Rara UK
  • ASIN: B0000DJEQA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,710 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Freidin on December 23, 2007
Verified Purchase
I agree wholeheartedly with the reviews of R. Levine and R. Payne. Here we have Verdi's first try at a Shakespeare tragedy, Macbeth, premiered in 1847, with more music, more interraction between the principals, closer to the original intent of the play, than in the later revised 1865 score. The vacillation and weak resolve of the future king, and the machinations of his scheming consort, are given more prominence in this version, making the finale that much more tragic, and closer to the source than the later, abridged, rendition.

All the principals are excellent. Peter Glossop (Macbeth) and Rita Hunter (Lady Macbeth) provide exciting dramatic performances; and John Tomlinson (Banquo) and Kenneth Collins (Macduff) are equally convincing in their roles. All are immensely believable characters. The orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, under John Matheson, play with feeling and dramatic pace.

Verdi had a life-long fascination with Shakespeare's works, starting with Macbeth (1847), and finishing, close to the end of his own life, with Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893), his two masterpieces. A King Lear was in the works, but that was not to be, regretfully, considering his very personal interest in father-daughter relationships (e.g., Nabucco, Stiffelio, Rigoletto, Aida, etc). This recording of the original version of Macbeth is a worthy tribute from one great genius to another.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Lowery on December 5, 2008
Verified Purchase
A must for lovers of Verdi's Macbeth! The principals, chorus, and orchestra are a cut-above; the recording flawless; and the physical package, including the libretto, is simply the best, but that is not what sets this CD apart from all the others. It is like a trip in a time machine, going back to hear how Verdi wrote it originally! I was excited to hear each note that was different from the familiar 1865 version. Don't let the high price discourage you, because it is worth it. I have spent way more on one opera ticket and have not been as entertained. This recording will give you an experience close to live opera, because you don't quite know what is going to happen next. I am so glad that I have it in my collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 30, 2009
Even if you do speak French, I suggest that you nonetheless disregard M. Declercq's absurd and discourteous rant; this recording features some of the finest British voices of the 70's and 80's in an enterprising account of the earlier (1847) version of a perennial Verdi favourite. The set has both great artistic and musicological interest and makes a fascinating comparison with the revised 1865 version - the one invariably performed today. Fans of the late Rita Hunter might have fond memories of her stunning performances in Wagnerian roles; she had a voice of formidable size and laser-like penetration and here applies it tellingly to create a truly demonic Lady Macbeth - exactly as Verdi wanted it: "the voice of a she-devil". Peter Glossop, also recently deceased, never had the juiciest Verdi baritone but he used his sizeable voice judiciously and expressively; his breath control rivals that of Cappuccilli and despite a certain dryness of tone really inhabits the character of Macbeth. The supporting cast is strong, especially the under-rated and under-recorded Kenneth Collins, who had a real spinto Verdi tenor; I retain a vivid aural memory of his impressive Manrico in the ENO "Il Trovatore" and here he makes a plangent Macduff. John Matheson's conducting is lean and incisive, the chorus more than adequate.

This is now available on Amazon Marketplace much more reasonably than its original issue price. It makes an excellent supplement to a modern recording of the later version such as that by Abbado with Cappuccilli and Verrett.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ronald F. Payne on January 26, 2004
I second Robert Levine's recommendation. Better paced than the Dynamic label recording of the original "MacBeth", the Opera Rara recording also features a lavishly illustrated libretto. A must for Verdi fanatics.
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8 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Constantin Declercq on November 27, 2008
Ce disque fait partie des cinq opéras de Verdi que Matheson a enregistrés en respectant la version originale (ici, celle de 1847, enregistrée en 1978). Les différences entre les deux partitions sont importantes, surtout à l'acte IV, mais pas assez pour supporter Glossop et Hunter, tous les deux exécrables. Matheson est un chef en général sans intérêt ; ici, il est même moins que cela.

Comme d'habitude Opera Rara fait payer très cher un disque dont finalement l'intérêt ne réside guère que dans le livret et la présentation. Pour l'instant cette maison de disques est la seule à proposer cette version en cd (Voce le proposait auparavant en vinyl) et aucune autre marque ne s'est décidée à la commercialiser, ce qui à mon avis est un signe infaillible.
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